Self-Control

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”

~ Galatians 5:22-23

Last, but certainly not least, is the fruit of the Spirit known as self-control. The word used here “ἐγκράτεια” (enkráteia) properly means “the virtue of one who masters his desires and passions, esp. his sensual appetites”. It is derived from “ἐν” (en) meaning “in” and “κράτος” (kratos) meaning “strength,” and has reference to the power or command which believers are to exercise over all manner of sinful and ungodly practices. This kind of discipline over ourselves is not something we muster up. In the flesh, we are weak (Rom. 7:14). It is the indwelling presence of God’s Holy Spirit which bestows what is necessary to put to death the old man and causes Christians to live in newness of life. It is then the fruit of self-control which enables the true follower of Christ to cultivate, nurture and grow all the fruits of the Spirit in their life. Against such blessed things, there is no law.

~ apl

Prayer Life Pause: Heavenly Father, may You help me to be like a tree planted by living waters that brings forth fruit in my season of life, and that the power and presence of the Divine Spirit in my life, my leaf will not whither and whatsoever I do for Your own glory, shall prosper. In Jesus, name, amen.

Gentleness

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”

~ Galatians 5:22-23

There is probably no more winsome fruit of the Spirit than gentleness. Gentleness carries with it the connotation of a mild and loving disposition. Christian’s ought not to be known for a harsh and grumpy temperance. We shouldn’t be unapproachable people. Rather, followers of Christ should show forth a mildness of temper and calmness of spirit which draws others to us that we might share in our faith with them. The Lord Jesus beckoned folks in His day much the same way. In Matthew 11:29, He would say, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls”. May you find rest for your soul too, by cultivating gentleness in your life.

~ apl

Prayer Life Pause: Lord Jesus, grant me a tenderness of heart and gentleness of spirit such as Yours that I might better reflect Your person in my life towards others. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Faithfulness

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”

~ Galatians 5:22-23

The idea of the word faithfulness, as used here, seems to be that of fidelity. It denotes the believer who is indwelt by the Holy Spirit will be earnest and dependable in their words and promises. Our yea will be our yea, and our nea will be our nea. A Christian can be trusted and confided in. A closer relationship with God in Christ stirs up greater and greater faith. The Christian will grow in faith and show that faithfulness as a husband, wife, neighbor, and friend. Faithfulness in the life of Christ’s people shows our love and devotion to Him and our desire to be faithful as He is faithful to us.

~ apl

Prayer Life Pause: Heavenly Father, help me to be a faithful Christian; one others can confide in and depend on so that Jesus is glorified in my life. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Goodness

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”

~ Galatians 5:22-23

The spiritual fruit of goodness could be said to be a continuation of the fruit of kindness. While kindness is a disposition of heart and character, goodness is the tangible results of kindness. Goodness is kindness in action. It is where the believer acts on behalf of the benefit and well-being of others. Jesus would tell His followers, “love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you” (Mt. 5:44). Show goodness in all circumstances, even difficult ones. The Apostle Paul would put it this way, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Rom. 12:21)

~ apl

Prayer Life Pause: Heavenly Father, help me to see and seek out opportunities to do good to others. May the fruit of goodness be evident in my life each and every day. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Kindness

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”

~ Galatians 5:22-23

Expressing kindness to others is an exceptional way in which to demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit and show forth the evidence of Christ-like character. When the sinner comes to realize just how kind God has been to them in Christ Jesus, they are compelled by sheer grace to exude kindness themselves. In many ways, the kindness shown in the life of the believer is simply a reflection of the kindness God has granted them. Titus 3:4-6 tells us, “But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,  whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior“. The fruit of kindness is not born in us; it is bestowed to us through the Holy Spirit so that kindness might be revealed by us to others.

~ apl

Prayer Life Pause: Dear Jesus, make me an example to others of the kindness You showed me in loving me, saving me, and blessing me so that I might praise You and give You the glory. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Longsuffering

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”

~ Galatians 5:22-23

Longsuffering. There one of those words we don’t use anymore. Yet, even though it may have fallen out of common use, the word is plain enough to understand, isn’t it? Websters defines longsuffering as “patiently enduring lasting offense or hardship“. And I think that definition is perfectly consistent with what the longsuffering fruit of the Spirit looks likes in the life of the Believer. Christians should not be quick to anger. We should not be prone to react when offended against. As Paul encouraged Timothy, we should all “be watchful in all things, [and] endure afflictions“. As God, in Christ, has been longsuffering with you, so may you bear the fruit of longsuffering towards others.

~ apl

Prayer Life Pause: Holy Father, cultivate in my heart a longsuffering spirit towards offenses and hardships that I might faithfully show the world what the longsuffering of Christ looks like. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Peace

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”

~ Galatians 5:22-23

Like the other fruits of the Spirit, peace is not something we always experience outwardly, but it is something the follower of Jesus can cultivate inwardly. The kind of peace spoken of here is a result of ceasing the inner conflict in ourselves between sin and the Savior. There is always conflict when we are at odds with the Lord. And our peace comes when we yield to Christ and submit ourselves to His Word. Faithful obedience and grace-filled living leads to spiritual peace.

Prayer Life Pause: Lord Jesus, fill my heart with Your Word that it might chase out my sins and pour Your Holy Spirit in me that I might experience Your splendid peace. In Jesus, name, amen.

Joy

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”

~ Galatians 5:22-23

Second in Paul’s list of Spiritual fruit is joy. But what is joy, Biblically speaking? Simply defined, we might say Spiritual joy is the solace and contentment that comes from knowing, loving and serving God. This kind of joy is not derived from temporal things, events or circumstances. Therefore, Spiritual joy is not easily removed from the heart of the true believer because our earthly conditions change. Joy that is a fruit of the Holy Spirit undergirds and consoles God’s people in the midst of their adversities, trials and tribulations. Joy, even in these situations, is evidence you belong to Him.

~ apl

Prayer Life Pause: Oh Lord, please grant me a profound and intense joy that can only come from Your precious Holy Spirit that I might not be to quickly moved to grief or sorrow because of things in this world. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Love

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”

~ Galatians 5:22-23

The Apostle Paul sets love as the first among the fruits of the Spirit because elsewhere he had explicitly stated without love we are but empty clanging noise. Love is the basis of our redemption in Christ, our fellowship with other believers and it should be our disposition towards a lost and dying world as well. Faithful, obedient living unto Jesus is clear evidence of our love for Him (Jn 14:15). Love is more than a mere sentiment or emotion – it is an abiding sense and deep appreciation of what God in Christ has done for you and, in turn, creates an unquenchable desire to live, love and serve in His name. It is this which is the fruit of the Holy Spirit living in the heart of the Believer.

~ apl

Prayer Life Pause: Heavenly Father, daily create in me a renewed and refreshed love for You and others that I might faithfully show forth the fruits of Your Spirit in my thoughts, words and deeds. In Jesus’ name, amen.